“It’s very freeing mentally. My focus is more mental than technical and it seems to be working.”
Jose Rojas (Doosan Bears) is batting like never before. It’s exactly what Doosan and manager Lee Seung-yeop wanted.
On July 7 against the Jamsil Kiwoom Heroes, Rojas batted fifth and played left field, going 2-for-4 with a double, a walk and three RBIs in the team’s 10-0 victory. He hit a two-run double in the third inning to put Kiwoom ahead early.
Rojas had been in a slump until recently. His batting average had dropped to the low teens, and pessimism about whether or not he should be traded followed him constantly. He was eventually promoted to the Futures (second division) team, but nothing came of it.
But I’ve noticed a recent uptick. It’s not a one-off. In five games, starting with the Ulsan Lotte Giants on April 2, he has 14 hits, four RBIs, and eight walks. He’s had his share of spurts where he’s been able to help his team, but this is the first time this season that he’s had multiple hits and walks in a row.
When Rojas met with us seven days later, he came into the dugout to be congratulated by Doosan officials who were translating for him as “Altuvito.” When asked what it meant, he laughed and said, “I’m close with the managers, and they call me that because I look like Jose Altuve (of the Houston Astros).
Not only does he look like Altuve, but he also hits like him. “I’m very mentally relaxed,” he explains, “and I think it’s because my focus is more mental than technical.바카라사이트
One of the people who helped him get mentally prepared was Lee Young-soo, the Futures batting coach. He came up to the first team with Rojas and continues to support him. “He talked to me a lot about mental stuff,” Rojas said. “He told me things like, ‘Stay calm. Don’t try to do too much,’ and things like that. “He also gives me confidence by saying, ‘You can do it. “It’s simple things, but they helped me a lot.
The secret to accuracy is vision. Whenever Lee explains Rojas’s struggles, he often laments that “the bat keeps going out in the zone.” But as his recent strikeout trends show, Rojas’s line drive is at its peak. “I was trying to hurt the ball too much,” Rojas said. Of course, he’s not complacent about how he’s hitting right now. “This is baseball. You never know what’s going to happen tomorrow,” he laughs. Tomorrow is unknown, but at least he can finish the first half with a smile on his face.